By Hyonhee Shin
SEOUL (Reuters) – The naval forces of South Korea, the US and Japan will stage their main trilateral anti-submarine workouts for the primary time in 5 years on Friday, amid rigidity over North Korea’s latest sequence of missile assessments.
The drills shall be held in worldwide waters off the Korean peninsula’s east coast, only a day after North Korea fired two ballistic missiles towards its east coast and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris visited Seoul and the closely fortified border between the 2 Koreas.
“The workouts are designed to enhance their functionality to reply to rising North Korean submarine threats, together with its submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) at a time when it persistently poses nuclear and missile threats with a sequence of ballistic missile assessments,” the South Korean navy mentioned in an announcement.
The one-day drills are a flagship maritime coaching that has not been performed since 2017 as a result of the previous progressive South Korean authorities sought to enhance inter-Korean relations and facilitate denuclearsation talks between Pyongyang and Washington, which have stalled since 2019.
Underneath the programme, the three international locations’ navies will observe down a mock North Korean submarine whereas exchanging info with one another, a South Korean navy official mentioned.
The workouts will carry collectively the USS Ronald Reagan plane service, the 9,800-ton guided missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville, the 6,900-ton Aegis-equipped destroyer USS Barry, South Korea’s 4,400-ton destroyer Munmu the Nice and Japan’s 5,100-ton tanker Asahi, amongst different warships, the South Korean navy mentioned.
The drills got here days after a U.S.-based suppose tank mentioned North Korea could also be making ready to launch a brand new submarine believed to be able to firing ballistic missiles, citing business satellite tv for pc imagery.
South Korea’s navy has additionally detected indicators that the remoted nation may be gearing up for an SLBM check, Yonhap information company reported on Saturday.